4) The Maine Huts

Best For: Families

Poplar Hut

Sunset at the Poplar Hut     Photo: Conrad Kelfos, Maine Huts and Trails

The three Maine huts have been open to hikers and cross-country skiers for the past four years. Maine Huts and Trails, the non-profit that oversees the huts, has been working with the local NORBA chapter to makes the trails that connect them bikeable. Once you get to the huts, there’s hiking, swimming, and fishing to keep youngsters, and you, entertained.

Currently, the best riding for families is on the southern side of the trail network. Start at Tufulios, near the base of Sugarloaf Mountain, and link up the Poplar Stream Hut and the Flagstaff Lake Hut for a three-day, two-hut ride. The entire trip is less than ten miles, and the riding is relatively mellow—some of it is on dirt service roads—so it’s ideal for less-skilled and younger bikers. There are also alternative routes, so kids who are less comfortable on technical trails can still come.

A fourth hut, the Stratton Brook, is in the works. It’s slated to be constructed on an existing section of bike trail in the Carabassett Valley, so if things go according to plan you’ll have more riding, and staying, options by the end of the summer.

When to go: September and October, when the leaves are prime and the black flies are not.
Cost:
$79/adult, $42/child on weekdays; $99/adult, $54/child on Friday-Sunday; mainehuts.org

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